Last night, my sister and I were at Nationals Stadium when both dugouts and bullpens emptied not once, but twice.
The first time, we didn’t know what was going on. We had just been told by an usher in our free birthday seats that there were plenty of seats field-level, if we wanted to go down.
Almost immediately after we sat near what has become our usual section, 135, players from both teams were running toward home plate and the crowd was screaming and cheering and clapping.
Then, a little while later, it happened again.
This is part of what I love about baseball: everything that goes along with the game – the hot dogs and dippin’ dots, the stadium lights, the 7th inning stretch. The whole feel of baseball is more than the plays and the stats. Sports snobs take to the internet to issue complaints about The Wave ruining the integrity of the game, but I am excited to participate every time it rolls my way.
My sister and I have gone to a lot of baseball games, and especially this summer, when the Nationals are winning. A lot. We talk about who’s the best home run hitter, but we also discuss the weird chin beard epidemic that seemed to be plaguing the entire major league for a while, and if there’s some larger meaning to the 4th inning Presidents’ Race. For me, there’s just a lot to baseball.
The World Series usually occurs around my birthday. The year I graduated from college, my boyfriend came from New Jersey to visit me in my rented room, and we watched the final game together. It was probably the most miserable time of my life: within a few weeks we were broken up and I was moved out. But we cheered and laughed during that game, brief hours of happiness in a relationship that had been ending for months, though neither of us had wanted to face it.
After the second brawl broke out last night, my sister exclaimed, “We always pick the best games to go to!” We aren’t at tonight’s game, though there was some brief discussion of going. (“Is this the last of the series, or are they playing the Cubs again?” “If it’s the Cubs, we are definitely coming in case there is another fight!”)
But we’ll be back soon.